I want to take a break from the Pink Floyd Airship for a second to tell you about some great new music that has recently been released.
First, Don Felder has re-released his critically acclaimed album from last year, now titled, Road To Forever: Extended Edition, featuring 4 brand new tracks.
Personally, I was not that big a fan of the Eagles until Don Felder joined the band. I know the early songs were good and all, and you can’t argue with those harmonies, AND I was a Bernie Leadon fan because I really liked the Flying Burrito Brothers. But alas, it was just a bit too light for me, and dare I say, a bit too calculated—too clever–too perfect if you will. With Felder joining, the clever and the perfect didn’t go away (because that emanates from Don Henley and Glenn Frey), but the perfect got better, because it was “Don Felder Perfect.” The beautiful precision of his playing and the melodic solos that he contributed, in my book, really MADE the Eagles. “Hotel California” is arguably the greatest Eagles’ song ever, and Don wrote the music. That doesn’t mean he gets credit for the whole thing because the other guys wrote the incredible lyrics. But if Don didn’t write the music to begin with, there would be no “Hotel California.” Also arguably, the trading of guitar licks between Don and Joe Walsh at the end of the song is one of the greatest pieces of rock music ever. Having Joe Walsh and Don Henley playing the guitars behind Don Henley, Glenn Frye, and freaking Randy Meisner,…well that’s why they call it a Supergroup .
The great thing about Don’s solo record for me is that it’s all Felder with no one else getting in the way. Kind of like a Keith Richards solo album with the X-Pensive Winos. Not that I don’t love Mick Jagger, or Don Henley for that matter, but sometimes you just want the “guitar guy.” The great thing about Don, of course, is that he can also write really good songs and has a great voice. So put all that together along with SOME OF THE BEST SOUND PRODUCTION to be created in quite a long time, and you get a record really worth listening too.
The Classic Rock radio stations agree. Indeed, Don’s new single “You Don’t Have Me” went to #1 last week on the Classic Rock charts! (You can hear the song in full here.)
With Don Felder at #1, guess who was #2? Paul Rodgers’ new single “Born Under A Bad Sign”! That track just rocketed up the charts. As a reminder, Paul recently cut an album down in Memphis at the famous Royal Studios with the original musicians who played on all the Stax and Hi Records hits. I believe they cut something like 26 hits in a row back in the day. On Paul Rodgers—The Royal Sessions, “The Voice” takes some of the greatest songs ever written to a whole other place! Paul just totally nails it to the wall with that inimitable blues/rock style on “I Thank You,” “I Can’t Stand The Rain,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)”, “Born Under A Bad Sign,” and six others. (You can hear “Born Under a Bad Sign” in full here.)
And talk about production! This album was recorded in true analogue folks. Using absolutely NO COMPUTERS. From the tape to the cutting lathe, that means you hear quality music like you haven’t heard in years. Aside from just the great musicians, when you hear the back-up singers they sound like real human beings, each with a specific vocal style and individual personality. You can only hear warmth and overtones like those, on analogue recordings. In fact, when I was doing a recent interview with Paul and a radio personality from WLUP in Chicago, the guy said, “I can hear the musicians’ smiles through the music!”
That statement blew all of our minds. Also, Michael Fremer, audiophile guru from “Analog Planet” gave the vinyl an 11 out of 11 score!! But the truth is, that’s how good the record actually is.
For all the reasons above, I urge you to buy this album either on CD and/or vinyl.
This is something to own, to have in your music collection.
Until next time, thanks for reading and all the best,
© Paul Rappaport 2014